Heroes in health care, at DMU and beyond: the 2014 Alumni of the Year

June 1, 2014 —

As part of this year’s alumni reunion festivities, the University recognized three outstanding graduates who have given greatly to their alma mater, professions and communities.


College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Alumnus of the Year
Sean T. Grambart, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS
Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Carle Physician Group

grambart 2013As a student in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS), Sean Grambart received the CPMS Leadership Award. That was a harbinger of the leadership, service and commitment he’s continued to demonstrate to his profession and medical alma mater: A member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) Board of Directors since 2010, in February he was installed as secretary treasurer of the 7,000-member organization.

He has chaired the ACFAS annual scientific conference, the nation’s largest educational meeting for foot and ankle surgeons that draws attendees from around the world to discuss the most current techniques and technology for treatment of deformities, diseases and injuries of the foot and ankle. He has served on numerous committees of ACFAS as well as of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. He is an ACFAS diplomate and has been a fellow since 2006.

Grambart is a foot and ankle surgeon with Carle Physician Group, a 350-physician multispecialty group, and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana-Champaign, IL. Board-certified in both foot surgery and reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, he is a clinical instructor in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Medicine. He also works with the athletic departments of the University of Illinois and Eastern Illinois University.

A frequent lecturer on state and national levels, including at DMU’s annual Foot and Ankle Surgery Symposium, Grambart has authored a variety of medical papers, textbook chapters and other educational materials. He has received honors for research he’s conducted for ACFAS as well as the Carle Foundation Hospital’s Patient- Care Choice Award in 2011 and the Nurse Exemplary Friend of Nursing Award in 2010.

After completing a surgical residency with the Northwest Podiatric Surgical Program at the Swedish Medical Center-Providence campus in Seattle, Grambart completed a trauma and reconstruction fellowship in Dresden, Germany.


College of Health Sciences Alumna of the Year
Jami S. Haberl, M.P.H.’03, M.H.A.’03
Executive Director, Safeguard Iowa Partnership Jami Haberl

When the Iowa Business Council and key state agencies created the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP ) in 2007, its board of directors made a fortuitous choice in hiring Jami Haberl as its executive director. In addition to her diverse knowledge in public health, health care administration and emergency management, she brought to the job a keen ability to quickly mobilize people, aid and mass quantities of poly plastic, bottled water and other goods.

That ability has been critical in SIP ’s response, as a statewide public-private organization, to such Iowa disasters as the floods of 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013; the 2009 pandemic influenza outbreak; the 2010 ice storms; the 2011 windstorm; and the 2012 droughts.

Prior to joining Safeguard Iowa, Haberl served as a senior program manager at the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care and the executive director for the Centers for Disaster Operations and Response at the Iowa Department of Public Health. In the latter role, she provided functional oversight of the public health and health care preparedness program, served as the state of Iowa bioterrorism coordinator and was a regional representative for the State Directors of Public Health Preparedness executive committee. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Iowa public health and health care preparedness program.

Haberl is involved in the community as a member of the Drake Neighborhood Association, Iowa Disaster Medical Assistance Team Advisory Committee, Iowa Preparedness Advisory Committee, Iowa Contingency Planners, Iowa Emergency Management Association and Iowa Homeland Security Advisory Board. She is the secretary of the Iowa Public Health Association, junior liaison of the Wakonda Club Board of Directors and an executive committee member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Regional Consortium Coordinating Council.

A past member of the DMU College of Health Sciences Alumni Council, Haberl has served as a part-time faculty member for the college since 2006. The Lohrville, IA , native earned her bachelor’s degree in community health education at Iowa State University.


College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumnus of the Year
David A. Plundo, D.O.’85, M.P.H.’11, FACOFP, FAODME
Associate Dean, Medical Education and External Affairs, DMU College of Osteopathic Medicine

Plundo, DavidIn the many roles he’s served in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), David Plundo will have a positive and lasting impact on the institution, its students and graduates. He joined the University as a faculty member in family medicine, advancing to associate dean of clinical affairs and then associate dean of medical education and external affairs. He also served as COM acting dean from July 2012 until August 2013. Between his roles at DMU, he was director of a family medicine residency program in Ohio and vice president of medical education at an osteopathic hospital in Michigan.

Plundo was instrumental in securing a grant from the Health Resources Services Administration that brought the Area Health Education Center (AH EC) to Iowa in 2007. He served as the primary investigator for the grant. Working with the AH EC program in 2008, he began the Rural Medicine Educational Pathway at DMU as a mechanism to place clinical program graduates critically needed in rural Iowa.

Plundo started and still oversees the college’s comprehensive clinical exam, a mandatory week-long course for students after their third-year rotations. This allows COM to evaluate students’ clinical performance and intervene with those who require additional academic support prior to their fourth year.

During his tenure as acting dean, Plundo championed innovation that allowed for integration of the clinical medicine and anatomy courses. This created a new way for students to learn clinically oriented anatomy and physical diagnosis skills outside of their usual labs and exam rooms, reinforcing their understanding of both.

Working with student leaders, Plundo also began the Emerging Leaders elective course, teaching leadership in a health care environment and providing a pathway for students to become leaders in their profession. The course continues to have the largest enrollment among all electives within the college.


The Alumni Association is now taking nominations for the 2015 alumni of the year, submit a nomination today!


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